Sunday to be Gallardo's season finale
Thanks to MLB.com contributor J.R. Radcliffe, who is covering the Brewers tonight in my wake, for passing along this note:
Yovani Gallardo will pitch for the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday in what will serve as his final outing of the 2009 season.
Manager Ken Macha had been toying with several methods of limiting the young right-hander’s workload with his team out of the pennant race, and his status for Sunday’s scheduled outing remained in doubt until Friday.
“We’ve got a pitch count in mind,” Macha said. “If there’s two outs in the fourth inning and we happen to have a lead, I won’t take him out. There’s a number we have in mind, but it can be adjusted.”
Macha said he weighed Gallardo’s input on the matter, making it a “group decision.”
The skipper also dismissed the notion that Gallardo’s proximity to the 200-strikeout plateau played a role. The 23-year-old needs just three punchouts Sunday to become just the fourth Brewers pitcher to reach that mark — a list that includes Gallardo’s fellow Mexican countryman Teddy Higuera, who accomplished the feat twice.
“I’m not an individual-stat guy,” Macha said. “He’s also leading the league in walks. … When you’re leading the league in walks, you have to get your command down and be consistent with your pitches. … He’s got the stuff, no question about it. Command of the ball is his biggest thing. It’s why we’re shutting him down. One-hundred pitches in five innings every time out there.”
Macha said Gallardo would throw light side sessions to finish out the year.
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—— J.R. Radcliffe